Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I keep none for myself.

So I haven't been here in a long time. Too much to do, too little to say, I guess. It's not you, blog, it's me. A lot has gone on, though. Working backwards; I put in my two weeks notice at my job yesterday. So in two weeks I'll play The Austin City Limits Festival and it will be the first show I play as a full time musician. I have a lot of emotions about this, as I'm sure anyone can imagine. I've been working the last 15 years to reach this point and I really hope that a year from now I'm not looking for another job. I'm excited and anxious and nervous and proud and frankly, scared out of my wits. Please tell your friends about Quiet Company, because now, my family's livelihood actually depends on my success.

 It's also imperative that our next tour goes well, because this is somewhat of a trial run with this booking agent, who is the booking agent we most wanted. So if you live near any of the following towns, please, please, please, make it your beeswax to be at these shows:

Oct. 20 - NYC, NY @ The Mercury Lounge (Official CMJ show, but you can buy tix at the door)
Oct. 21 - Rochester, NY @ Dubland Underground
Oct. 23 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Oct. 24 - Akron, OH @ Musica
Oct. 25 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
Oct. 26 - Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen
Oct. 27 - Chicago, IL @ a house show
Oct. 28 - St. Louis, MO @ Cicero's
Oct. 30 - Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Oct. 31 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
Nov. 01 - Washington, DC @ The Black Cat
Nov. 02 - Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
Nov. 03 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's
Nov. 04 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East (upstairs)

All shows, except NYC, are with Brick + Mortar.

 We just returned a couple weeks ago from our first tour in a long while. We were out for about 2 weeks and I can say with no hesitation that it was our best tour ever, both financially, and emotionally. We had a great time, had generally great shows, and I had a real sense of purpose in what I was doing for the first time in a while. It also felt really nice to be playing outside of Texas. I love Texas more than anywhere but it's been feeling like too much of a good thing. 

Last Friday I played my second solo show at the Cactus Cafe. My position on solo acoustic performances is well known to those who know me well. For those who don't: I'm not for it, generally. I've been doing them for a few reasons, 1. it allows us to keep up our presence in Austin without having to play a show 2. it allows me to test new material 3. it gets me out of my comfort zone and forces me to develop further as a performer and 4. because the other guys in Quiet Company told me I should.

This last one was especially interesting for me, as I shared it with Chris Simpson and Lee Bozeman. My obsession with the work of these men is well documented, but getting Lee at the show was a special treat, as he hasn't played a show in 8 years. Friday night was proof of why that is such a tragedy because he was phenomenal. If I could steal anyone's voice, Lee and Freddie Mercury would be at the top of the list.

I played 6 new songs and 2 old ones. My setlist was:
The First Sonogram
The Road To Perdition
Red & Gold
The Parthenon
Hold My Head Above The Water
The Blood
The Pyre
Midnight At The Dairy Palace

 Titles are tentative.
Leah sang with me on "Hold My Head Above The Water" which was lovely, and Matt played piano on "The Pyre" and "Midnight..", which also did not suck. Reception of the new songs was good. So good that it made me more excited about writing the new record. I hadn't realized how excited I was about writing something that wouldn't offend 80% of America until that show. I don't regret anything I said on Belong, I meant every word and I needed to say it, but I am looking forward to not having to worry about other people's reception of the thing being affected or determined by preconceived beliefs. I'm sure our parents are looking forward to having their sons do something new that they're not apprehensive about sharing with their friends, as well.

 I flash between courageous and terrified with bipolar rapidity these days. I'm going to go have a panic attack now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kid farts are the worst.

Two records that I've been listening to lately are the newest Cursive and Nada Surf records, I Am Gemini and The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, respectively.

Cursive is a band that is great because they are ever-evolving. Every record is pretty different from the last and incidentally, every record is great, in my opinion. The idea of this new record is one of the strangest ever attempted in indie rock; A concept record telling the story of two twin brothers that's demented, dark, and beautiful. I don't really want to talk about why I like the record as much as I just want to talk about the intensity with which I like it.

I love it. A lot.

Okay, moving on.

Nada Surf doesn't change, least ways, not in the past few records. Honestly, when I played the 1st track on the record for the first time and heard Nada Surf doing exactly what Nada Surf does, my initial reaction was "Really, guys? We're still doing this?" Maybe they don't know how to push themselves out of their comfort zone or maybe they just don't want to, but Nada Surf is comfortable in doing what they do, that much is clear. Thankfully, "what they do" is write really great songs. So after a listen or two, I found myself being pretty damn comfortable too. So while I would still love to hear Nada Surf come out of left field with something drastically different and amazing sometime soon, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy will most likely end up on my Best Of 2012 list, all the same.

In personal news, SXSW and the Austin Music Awards have come and gone and both went well. I think we're all in agreement that it was the best SXSW yet.

In the Austin Music Awards, we did well...very well, actually. We took home 10 awards between the 5 of us, so if you voted, thank you very, very much. Our awards were:
Band of the Year - Quiet Company
Album of the Year - We Are All Where We Belong
Song of the Year - "You, Me, & The Boatman"
Performing Rock Band of the Year - Quiet Company
Performing Indie Band of the Year - Quiet Company
Producer of the Year - Matt Parmenter for We Are All Where We Belong
Drummer of the Year - Jeff Weathers
Songwriter of the Year - Taylor Muse
Male Vocalist of the Year - Taylor Muse
Musician of the Year - Taylor Muse

Now, I'm very grateful for all of these but I am aware of the inherent flaws in the awards. I know it's not about who's actually the best in town and is, at the end of the day, a popularity contest. I know I'm not the best vocalist in town, I can name several off the top of my head that make me look like a rank amateur, and "Musician of the Year?" I'm not even the best musician in our band! That being said, it is with great reverence to the universe's grand indifference to rhyme or reason, that I have accepted these awards. Past that, I am so fucking thankful for everyone that voted for us. Here's to an even better year.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Facebook: Where Christians get to be the majority and the martyr

Someone on Facebook posted a meme that said:
"Dear God,
Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?
A Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student,
I'm not allowed in your schools.
God"


I find this type of thing annoying because it's super lame how the Christian right wants to shout at you about how this is a Christian country where everyone is Christian and the majority should rule, and then two seconds later play the victim like this. Facebook is rife with this sort of thing. Well, I crafted my own "god" response and posted it, and even though it was deleted by the person who posted the original meme, I was so proud of it I just reproduced it for you here:

"Dear Concerned Student,
Jehovah here. I hope I'm who you were looking for. You just said "god" and frankly, that could be any number of people up here, and since America alone is home to hundreds of religions worshiping different deities it's important to specify.
What I meant to say is that I'm actually just as welcome in schools as I ever was, it's just that the constitution prohibits any publicly owned institution, such as a public school, from forcing you to worship or acknowledge me in anyway if you don't choose to. This has always been the case, but I suppose it's becoming more and more important to adhere to as your country's culture continues to diversify. I'm sure you can see how the separation of church and state allows both things to flourish without the other's influence or control and protects your religious, or non religious, freedoms. Your founding fathers understood how terrible it would be to have any governmental authority figure mandate how, when, or what you should worship, if anything. I don't know why this concept seems to be lost on so many conservatives. Anyway, I'm rambling.

As far as your question goes, I have to quote Epicurus:
'Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?'

I hate to admit it but he did zing me with that one. Violence in school is a bummer though. Did you see that Youtube video where the fat kid is being bullied by the skinny kid and his friends and eventually he just has enough of it and picks up the skinny kid and body slams the crap out of him? That was awesome! I watched that thing like 4 times in a row. Anyway, I digress.

Look, I'd love to help you out but I don't really like to get involved, I'm more of a "hands off" deity. You guys are great, though, I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Best of luck and peace in the Middle East!
God
.


I had another line in there that had god talking about watching old Wrestlemania videos online, but it just seemed like too much.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Campaignin'

Hey everyone, it's that time again. The Austin Chronicle Music Poll is upon us. As you probably know, dear reader, my band, Quiet Company, put out a new record last year that we worked really hard on and are really proud of. Winning accolades in this poll could be very beneficial for us, both personally and professionally, and we'd like your help. This isn't the kind of thing where you'll have to vote over and over, every day for a month or anything. Just once. Just cast your vote and you're done. We've even taken all the thinking out of it for you and shown you how to vote to best support us. We could really use your help. Our friend Bob Schneider put out a new record this year and will get tons of votes without even trying, so please spread the word. Get your family to vote, get your friends to vote, get your co-workers to vote, etc. Know that you are appreciated.

AUSTIN BAND OF THE YEAR: Quiet Company

AUSTIN MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR: Taylor Muse

AUSTIN SONG OF THE YEAR: "You, Me, And The Boatman" - Quiet Company

AUSTIN ALBUM OF THE YEAR: We Are All Where We Belong - Quiet Company
PERFORMING BANDS
ROCK: Quiet Company

INDIE: Quiet Company

BEST AUSTIN MUSICIANS
MALE VOCALS: Taylor Muse

ELECTRIC GUITAR: Tommy Blank

BASS: Matt Parmenter

DRUMS/PERCUSSION: Jeff Weathers

STRING PLAYER(S): Tony Rogers

HORN PLAYER(S): Cody Ackors

SONGWRITER: Taylor Muse

Producer Name: Matt Parmenter

Album Title: We Are All Where We Belong

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Republican Christianity, everybody!



This reminds me of all those really awesome scriptures where Jesus talks about how important being wealthy is, and how awesome rich people are, and about how you shouldn't care about the health and wellbeing of those less fortunate than yourself. Billboard God is so cool, guyz.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I aim to misbehave.

Alright.

The record is done and I am proud of it. Please go buy it and tell your friends you like it. Unless you don't like it, in which case, we'd appreciate it if you'd keep your mouth shut.

So far, only positive reactions, which is nice. Sure, there have been a few reviews from religious folk who've been uncomfortable with the lyrical content, but we expected that, and they make for interesting reviews. It feels nice to have it out there, finally.

Now comes the time of promoting the thing. Our partnership with Grooveshark has already proven to be nothing less than amazing. Before we partnered up, we had 2000+ Facebook friends, now we have 15,000+. It feels crazy. It is crazy. Only time will tell if this exposure will turn into something financially significant. We're all optimistic, though.

Done a lot of interviews lately. I think I'm getting better at them but always have, at least a little, self doubt about whether or not I come across badly. So it goes.

Been thinking a little about what our next full length album should be about. I know we just finished one but this is the first time that I haven't already had another album's worth of material ready to work on. Tommy said he wanted me to get political and satirical, call a bunch of assholes "assholes," and what have you. I don't know if I have that in me. I just never feel like I know enough about politics to voice too strong of a public opinion nowadays. I have been following the GOP primaries a little bit, though. To me, there only seems to be one decent candidate, and that's Jon Huntsman. He doesn't seem to be gaining the traction that I'd like though. Not crazy enough, I guess. I don't know if I'd vote for him even if he does win, but who knows, I might. My main concern is that it's the difference between getting to choose between a piece of pizza and a hamburger, versus getting to choose between a piece of pizza and a huge ball of shit. When a lot of people seem to be angry at the pizza, you really need that burger to fall back on.

A friend of mine died, unexpectedly, from an aneurysm the other day. I didn't know him terribly well, but I really enjoyed his company the handful of times we'd gotten to hang out. It made me think more seriously about something I was already thinking about. One of the cool things about playing music is that it has enabled me to meet a lot of really interesting people, many of which I like a lot. My life is full of guys I wish I knew better but never get the chance because my life is also full of a lot of other things, and so are theirs. Lately, I've been trying to make the effort to make the time. It's difficult because I don't want to sacrifice my time with my family, so it largely consists of me sacrificing sleep. I'll sleep when I'm dead, and all that, but I am tired today. Last night, after a late QC rehearsal, I went and saw a buddy who was in town playing guitar for New Found Glory. Got in at 2, but still got 5 hours of sleep. I've always felt like 5 is plenty because I have an issue of Batman where he says he only needs 5, and hey, if Batman can do everything he does on 5 hours of sleep, I can surely function.

Ate a fried okra & potato taco at 1 in the morning. Sounded great, didn't deliver on flavor. Shame.

The band is driving to Pensacola, FL tomorrow night to play Deluna Fest. Excited to see several of the other acts, mainly The New Pornographers and The Shins.
Next week, we're flying to NYC to play CMJ Festival and shoot a music video for "You, Me, & The Boatman." Really excited to be in NYC again. I haven't really cared for the city the couple of other times we've been there, but for some reason, I think I'll really like it this time.

Already dreading being away from Leah and Harper though, but I'm sure it will go by quickly and I'll be home again before you know it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Listen: I have come unstuck in time.

I think about super powers a lot. Probably more than a 29 year old man should. I don't feel bad about it.

Today, I'm thinking about a show from my childhood called "Out Of This World," remember it?

The plot was like this: Teenage girl who has never known her father and grew up with her single mother learns that her father (voiced by Burt Reynolds) is actually an alien that starts communicating with her through a large crystal night-light. He was apparently on Earth just long enough to knock up her mom and take off back to Gallifrey or wherever the hell.


Anyway, the girl (named Evie) starts developing alien powers on her 13th (I think) birthday. The first, and best, of these is an ability to touch her pointer fingers together and freeze time. Of course, she is unstuck in time and free to move around while everyone, and ostensibly everything, else is frozen in the moment. If she touched you, then you also become unstuck, or she could just place her palms together and release the hold in its entirety.


This is the best power anyone could ever have. This is better than anything Superman, or anyone in the Justice League have. Sure, flying is great, but it's second fiddle to this.

My biggest problem with existing is that time is not infinite, and I am not ageless. Now, I don't know if Evie was ageless while time was frozen, and that's something that would really determine the frivolity with which you would employ this power. You wouldn't want to age faster than your friends because you were popping out of the time stream too casually. However, if you did remain ageless during these moments, then the possibilities are endless.

I would never sleep, or rather, you would never see me sleep. Any time I was tired, I would just touch my fingers together, slap some gloves on (to prevent accidental time release) and catch some z's. I would be the most well rested man to be awake all the time.
Any time there was busy work to do, POP, Time Freeze, y'all, and no one loses any of our precious daylight.

There's just not enough hours in the day, but if I could freeze time, there would be.

Another question is whether or not machines are functional while time is frozen. If they were, then this last Quiet Company record wouldn't have taken nearly as long. Also I think I'd watch a lot of movies and play a lot of video games while time was frozen. Basically, anything that I'd like to do but is not something I'll regret not doing more of on my deathbed, would be done inside a Time Freeze. I could spend all my actual time with my family and friends and making music, and still have time to watch as many movies, play as many games, read as many (comic)books, and sleep as much as I want.

Also, you could steal things if you were so inclined.